subscribers, fans, & followers

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  • 1. INTRODUCTION When reading marketing headlines like those highlighted in the image at left, itseasy to understand why marketers get the impression that email, Facebook,and Twitter are in direct competition for the online consumers attention. And while channels like Facebook and Twitter may compete withone another among advertisers, consumers share a very differentperspective. Ultimately, consumers treat marketers differently than friends, and they want marketing communications torespect those differences.With a short attention span and ability to multi-task,consumers constantly shift their attention from one online communication tool to another. For example, the emails they receive inspire them to Tweet and post to Facebook, and the messages theysee on Facebook and Twitter remind them to email old friends. Consumers communicate freely across these channels and dont isolate one from the other. Shouldnt you do the same? In The Collaborative Future, the sixth and final installment of the SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research series, well bring you face-to-face with the future of interactive marketing byturning common assumptions about channel competition on their head.INSIDE THIS REPORT, WELL HELP YOU:Consumers Compare the email, Facebook, and Twitter x-factors, so you understand the significant differencesthat exist between the three channelscommunicate Understand the differences between what SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, and FOLLOWERS want, so youfreely across these can deliver the right message in the right placechannels and Learn how to effectively integrate these channels to improve acquisition and retention marketingdont isolate one If email, Facebook, and Twitter shared similar strengths, it might make more sense that they would bein direct competition with one another. But just like each individual consumer is unique, so are each offrom the other. these communication channels. This final report will put an end to the confusion that surroundschannel and budget competition, so you can develop a tightly integrated strategy that combinesShouldnt you not isolatesthe powerful strengths of email, Facebook, and Twitter.do the same?2 2010 ExactTarget

2. EMAIL FACEBOOKTWITTER X-FACTORS X-FACTORS X-FACTORSFAMILIARITY CONNECTION INFLUENCEMANAGEABILITYTRUST & PRIVACYSELF-EXPRESSIONENTERTAINMENT BREVITYACCESSIBILITYRELEVANCY DISCOVERY INTERACTIONEXCLUSIVITY CONTROL VERSATILITY 2010 ExactTarget 3 3. SUBSCRIBERSSUBSCRIBERS, FANS, THEN: Before email, the term& FOLLOWERS: SUBSCRIBER described an individual who paid money to receive content on aTHEN AND regular basis. In exchange for this mon- ey, SUBSCRIBERS received interesting content that was delivered consistentlyNOW from a publisher.* THEN: Close your eyes and envi-Despite the recent hype over SUBSCRIBERS,sion a FAN, pre-internet. Youre probably imagining sports spectators, music group-FANS, and FOLLOWERS, these termsand FANS ies, or pop-culture junkies. The concept ofthe concepts of what it means to be eacha FAN was well-established before the Facebook and internet era, and individu-arent new. What is new are the tools that als have become FANS over the years asmarketers use to communicate with each a means of self-expression. Understand-of these target audiences. Well explore ing what a person is a FAN offrom the Grateful Dead to the New York Yankeeswhat it meant to be SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, reveals a lot about that persons identity.& FOLLOWERS pre-internet (or as we referto them in this section, then), and howmediums like email, Facebook, and Twitter THEN: FOLLOWERS(post-internet) have changed the way In the pre-internet era,marketers facilitate conversations with theFOLLOWERS were categorized as sup- porters of influential leaders, politicians,members of these age-old audiences. or social movements. People FOL- LOWED others to express admiration and to become closer to those whom*When using the terminology then vs. now to compare SUBSCRIBERS, they admired.FANS, & FOLLOWERS, then describes these audiences pre-internet,while now describes these audiences in the post-internet era.4 2010 ExactTarget 4. 93% NOW:Today, the relationship that brands have with email SUBSCRIBERS is similar. The difference is that con- TIPS:Deliver exclusive email content thats relevant to your individual SUBSCRIBERS. And this sumers dont pay brands to present them with interestingisnt as easy as it used to be. With magazines or news- content (in most cases). Instead, consumers provide their papers, consumers sift through content on their own of U.S. onlineemail addresses to these companies, understanding that these addresses are valuable to marketers. Through this as they look for interesting articles. But with email, they expect brands to do the work for them, getting rid of all consumers are exchange, consumers expect the advantages of subscrip-the articles that wont resonate so the content reflects SUBSCRIBERS*. tion, which include ongoing access to relevant and exclu- only the most relevant offers and information. Make sive content (x-factors #4 and #5). sure that your email content is engaging, relevant, and * U.S. consumers who receive at least one permission-based consistently delivered so each SUBSCRIBER feels like email a day.an exclusive member of your brands V.I.P. club.38%of U.S. online NOW: FANS still exist outside the world of Face- book, but this new medium has created an instantaneous and public way for consumers to express their support for brands. For consumers, the act of FANNING a brand or company can be compared to sporting your favorite clothing stores logoa display of endorsement and per- TIPS: Entertain your FANS on Facebook and theyll be more likely to engage with your brand. Your wall posts should reflect the fun that Facebook provides to its users, and as a result, FANS will be able to interact with you in ways that other channels dont provide. But be sure to remember that consumers areconsumers aresonal expression. And while the act of FANNING a brandFANS first and foremost, not just the means by whichFANS*. doesnt equal an open invitation for marketing messages, it you increase your ROI. Think of the deals and free- doesnt necessarily preclude it either. FANS are more likelybies you offer as a way to thank your FANS for their* U.S. consumers with a Facebookaccount who have become a FANto be receptive to marketing messages if theyre in the spir- support. This will fuel engagement and enthusiasm forof (i.e. LIKE) at least one brand on it of fun and entertainment.your brand.Facebook.5%of U.S. online NOW: Twitter extends the opportunity for more peoplefrom celebrities and television personalities to athletes and ordinary citizensto have FOLLOWERS. Ad- ditionally, Twitter provides a platform that can be used to wield influence, giving people the opportunity to act as a leader and FOLLOWER simultaneously. TIPS: Influence the influencers by delivering insider information, responding directly to Tweets, and providing velvet rope access to the person- alities behind your brand, in 140 characters or less. By providing this type of access to your most influen- tial consumers (i.e. daily Twitter users), theyll be moreconsumers arelikely to recommend and endorse your brand to theirFOLLOWERS*.own Twitter FOLLOWERS, expanding your reach and*U.S. consumers with a Twitter viral marketing potential.account who FOLLOW at leastone brand on Twitter. 2010 ExactTarget 5 5. EXPANDING YOURMARKET REACH 32% DISAGREE 32% DISAGREE 49%Youre probably pondering a common question amongDISAGREEmodern marketers: Are email, Facebook, and Twitterretention marketing channels? While the ability to31%assemble existing customers and prospects into a single41% NEUTRALlocation certainly fits into the old database-marketingMORE LIKELY TONEUTRALparadigm for retention marketing, our research raised PURCHASE FROM34%questions that challenge this assumption.A BRAND AFTER NEUTRALThe charts on this page reflect the percentage of consumersBECOMING A 27% 37% SUBSCRIBER, FAN, AGREE17%AGREElikely to purchase from or recommend a brand more oftenafter becoming a SUBSCRIBER, FAN, or FOLLOWER. OR FOLLOWERAGREE(Remember, 93% of online consumers are SUBSCRIBERS,38% are FANS, and 5% are FOLLOWERS.) Here aresome highlights:EMAILFACEBOOK TWITTERSUBSCRIBERFANFOLLOWER32% of SUBSCRIBERS and FOLLOWERS and 49% of FANS are no more likely to purchase from a brand after MORE LIKELY TO connecting with them through these channelsleaving 68% of SUBSCRIBERS and FOLLOWERS and 51% of RECOMMEND A 31% FANS who may purchase more often.BRAND AFTER36% 47%DISAGREE BECOMING ADISAGREE DISAGREEMultiplying these percentages together, we see that 63% SUBSCRIBER, FAN, of U.S. online consumers may become a SUBSCRIBER OR FOLLOWER of a brand and purchase more often, 19% may become35% a FAN of a brand and purchase more often, and 3%40%NEUTRAL may FOLLOW a brand and purchase more often. NEUTRAL 32% NEUTRALWhat else do these findings suggest, in light of what weknow about each channels unique strengths? 33%THE BOTTOM LINE: Youll be able to drastically expand 24% 21%AGREEAGREE AGREEyour brands online reach by combining the strengths of eachof these communication channels, as theyre highlighted onthe next page. Developing this cohesive strategy will resultin a program that far exceeds that of a program with isolated NOTE: Numbers may not equal 100%due to rounding.channels that operate out of marketing silos.6 2010 ExactTarget 6. EMAILFACEBOOKTWITTEREMAIL IS THE MOST BROADLY-FACEBOOK IS THE LEAST-TWITTER IS THE CHANNELUSED COMMUNICATION CHANNELEFFECTIVE CHANNEL TO DRIVEMOST LIKELY TO DRIVE(WHEN COMPARED TO TWITTER INCREASED PURCHASE BEHAVIOR*. INCREASED PURCHASES ANDAND FACEBOOK) AND IS LIKELY RECOMMENDATIONS AFTER AConsumers generally become FANS of aTO DRIVE INCREASED PURCHASE CONSUMER CHOOSES TO BECOMEbrand in real life before they become FANSINTENT AMONG THE LARGESTA BRANDS FOLLOWER.on Facebook. As a result,